Monday, June 22, 2009

When you're helpless...

I had spoken, if you remember, of a friend D, who went into a coma during a surgery following a rupture of her fallopian tubes due to an ectopic pregnancy. It has been five months now. She has been taken off the support systems, and all her body functions are normal. But her brain is not working. She opens her eyes and looks around, but does not recognize anybody. She is being fed from a tube.

This is what I heard when I called her husband today, and no, I do not know any more details.

They had been trying to have a baby for a long time. When I had called to tell her that I was expecting Puttachi, I had started off with a "How are you" and she poured out her troubles to me - her ill-health, surgery to remove cysts in her uterus and a miscarriage, and how she is desperate for a baby. After listening to all this, I felt it was not the time to tell her the reason for my call, but I told her anyway. She erupted with genuine joy and chastized me for not telling her earlier. "I would have kept my mouth shut and not told you my tales of woe. A pregnant woman must listen to only nice things."

The last time I spoke to her was on her birthday in November. "What is happy about my birthday, all I want is a baby", was her refrain. And just two months later, I heard about this.

In the beginning, I was distraught, calling her husband every alternate day to find out how she was. Then you know how it is, life takes over and my calls dropped in frequency - once a week, then once a fortnight.... because each time, the poor man's answer was the same. "No change in her state."

But she has been in my thoughts all the time. In the beginning, I dreamt of her all the time, and the dream was always the same. She would call me and say, "I'm alright now! I have recovered! I called you because I knew you were worried!" There was one night when the dream was so real - in my dream, she had called me at 3 am, woken me up to tell me she was alright, and then told me to go back to sleep and that she would call me in the morning. When I woke up in the morning (in reality), I actually checked the Received Calls in my mobile, hoping against hope that it wasn't a dream.

There are so many things that remind me of her every other day. Fish, for example, "Feesh! I feel like eating feesh!" She would say with her eyes sparkling. Her loud voice (You don't need a telephone, we would tell her), and her tinkling, clear, rippling laughter keep coming back to me.

One part of me wants to catch the next flight to Mumbai and see her and hug her, another part, the selfish part is thankful that she is far away in Mumbai - because I don't think I would be able to see her in that state.

I wish there was something I could do, instead of sitting around twiddling my thumbs, feeling sorry for her and her husband and for myself.

16 comments:

Poppins said...

Oh god. I have nothing to say. I don't even know her and I feel so bad.

Sanjay M said...

She sounds like such a nice sensitive caring person Shruthi!

No doubt you meant that only a part of the brain thats not working, because the brain is involved in her opening her eyes and looking around. So maybe its possible other parts of her mind are active as well, though not perceptible medically or to outsiders. Excuse me if this is an ignorant suggestion but I'm wondering if playing any music softly in the background can help.

We hold this small metallic/plastic device with numbers on it, having no doubt that it has the ability to transmit and recieve messages from anywhere in the world. But we may find it very hard to believe that the one holding this device has capabilities that are far superior - just that it is just not as tangible as the cell phone conversation.

But a friend told me and I have good reason to believe him, that even when we feel concern for someone some energy does go to them from us. So I'd say that by the very act of voicing your concern and we readers who no doubt resonate with it, is a good step in helping your friend. I believe sure positive thoughts would be a good start :)

praneshachar said...

shruthi
its a touching post and all you love warmth and concern are filled. I second fully sanjay these steps if takes her away from pains and we see a post informing you got a call from her/them in mumbai it will be a day to feel happy happy for us
my best wishes for them to get back to normal kudos to the man who is so caring as we could read and hope the lady comes out of the gloom to world of beauty
lets hope hope and hope for all the best to happen
pranesh

alwayshappykya said...

I heartily feel for your friend...and his family..

Maybe this is just a testing time..and soon one day she WILL wake up , smile and make that call to you at 3 AM for real.

Will add her to my prayers...

A journey called Life said...

ohh this is sad.. i dont know her but feel bad for what she is going thru.. like the person above me has commented, she will recover and will make that 3am call.. keep the faith and keep praying..

Manish'sMom said...

Helpless is an understatement! How truly tragic! Gosh! I just hope she recovers soon!

Manasa said...

Shruthi, I've been reading ur blog since long time but never commented. But this post really made me to comment.
Coz, just 2 months back I went thro' a surgery for Ectopic pregnancy and I was operated in the last stage. It ended in removing one of my fallopian tubes.As the docs said,if the operation was delayed even by few hours it was difficult to save my life as there was a lot of internal bleeding.
I can completely understand the mental trauma ur friend's family and friends r going thro' at this time. Believe me Shruthi, ur friend will definitely come out of it. After all, everyones' wishes have to be counted somewhere right? I heartily wish her a very speedy recovery.

Dhanya said...

It is a very helpless state.. words can't explain the feeling.. I have gone through it twice - one my dad n till 10 days back for my aunt :(

Anonymous said...

I can personally relate to your friend D in Mumbai. My prayers are with her and her family who are going through this trying times.

My wife had similar complications and had one ectopic pregnancy. Fortunately the surgery was done at the right time and both her tubes were intact. The ectopic pregnancy was just the beginning for us since more bad news awaited me and my wife as time passed by.

For nearly 6 years my wife had multiple miscarriages during 1st and late 2nd trimesters of her pregnancy. Not one, not two but we suffered through 4 losses.

We never gave up. Living and working in the USA and in spite of being in the hands of best medical system and doctors that money could buy on this Earth the cause of my wife's miscarriages went unknown. We traveled coast-to-coast consulting the best doctors but we saw nothing come out of those consultation.

One fine day the Gods smiled on us and my wife was pregnant for the 5th time again. Based on my wife's history the doctors did not give us any hope of the fetus surviving until the pregnancy was carried to the full term. There were even talks of baby being born with a birth defect because previous pregnancies were all aborted. Her pregnancy was closely monitored with ultrasound scan done every 2 weeks from the 4th month of the pregnancy.

We held on to each other despite these odds and at the end of 9 months we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy who is as perfect and an as normal as any other child his age.

My wife and I share our story with others who may be in a similar situation in the hope that they will get some much needed emotional support and psychological strength to see the tough times through.

Hope you friend feels better soon.

Vish
NY.

Prashanth M said...

when I hear/read these kind of incidents, the mind gos blank - absolute thoughtlessness...

after few moments, realise that there is nothing in our hands...

Mama - Mia said...

its heartbreaking Shruthi... lotsa prayers being sent her way

Ajita said...

Not just dreams. These are visions. Your 3 AM call is bound to happen.

sloka said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sloka said...

I have been reading your blog for sometime now but didn't comment till now. One of my friend's sister is suffering in a similar way since January end and she is currently in a noted hospital in Mumbai. For the last two months there has been no improvement in her case. Somehow reading this post I felt that maybe she is the same person you are referring to or may be not. Whatever be the case, I just pray that she gets well soon enough and may God give strength to uncle and aunty and her husband to survive through this tough time.

The Dreamer said...

I chanced upon your blog yesterday, and I've read an amazingly high number of posts already, given my short attention span! I enjoyed your township tales, the one on geometry, and most of all, each and every post on Puttachi...

Which brings me to the tragedy that's befallen your friend. I can understand her agony on not having a baby all too well, and her comment on her birthday too. I do hope she recovers soon and that she is blessed with what she desires most!

Regards,
Sumitha

Nagesh.MVS said...

Oh no Don't say any thing.

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